When it comes to vaping, we’ve all heard horror stories about devices burning users or batteries exploding. It’s no wonder that some people worry about making the switch from smoking due to safety concerns.
However, would-be vapers can be reassured that vaping is a very safe pastime as long as all the equipment is handled safely and appropriately.
This comprehensive guide to coil and battery safety will give you all the information you need to vape safely and to get as much enjoyment from the experience as possible.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BATTERY SAFETY
The key to safe vaping is to practice battery safety. This is something which every vaper needs to do as a top priority. More experienced vapers may have the knowledge to use batteries safely with the different kinds of mods on the market today. However, for anyone new to vaping, it’s important to take the time to learn more about batteries, how to use and carry them, and how to guard against possible accidents.
Although it is technically possible for an e-cigarette battery to explode, this has only ever happened in a tiny minority of cases. There is a vast number of battery products on the market and the percentage of incidents overall is tiny. Most of those involved older style batteries and devices or those which did not come from a reliable manufacturer.
Therefore, there’s no need to assume that vaping is an inherently unsafe practice. As long as you properly store, handle and maintain your vape device, you (and those around you) will be well-protected from risk no matter what type of device you’re using.
PROPER BATTERY CARE
The very first tip for caring for your vape device batteries is to transport them safely. When carrying them around with you, always use a battery holder or cover. This will keep them from making contact with either each other or any other metal items in your pocket or bag.
When inserting batteries into your device, you must always ensure that you’re inserting them the right way around. Failure to do this will result in venting. Don’t rely on the reverse polarity inbuilt protection that some modern devices feature – make sure to take adequate care that you aren’t fitting the batteries in backwards.
When charging your battery up, always check whether it is fully charged or not. Once charging has completed, you should take the battery out of the charger. This will guard against possible overcharging which may result in a battery failure. Under no circumstances should you leave your battery to charge unattended overnight. Also, when charging up your vape device’s battery, do so on a surface which is fireproof, just in case.
When carrying and storing your device battery, you should make sure that it is always kept at room temperature. Batteries contain chemicals which must never be exposed to temperature extremes, so keep them away from very hot or very cold conditions. Batteries are highly flammable, so make sure to keep them well away from fires and check them regularly for any dents or damage. If you spot any defects in your battery, avoid using it and replace it immediately.
SPECIAL CARE NOTES FOR LI-ION BATTERIES
If your device uses Lithium-Ion cell batteries, you should take special care. Take the time to find out as much as possible about lithium ion batteries and know everything there is to know about charging, assembling and discharging your Li-Ion batteries before using them.
If your battery shows any of the following signs, you should discard it immediately:
- No wrapping
- Peeling wrap
PROTECTING YOUR BATTERY'S LIFESPAN
Although Nickel based cell batteries should be fully discharged in order to protect their lifespan, this is not the case with a lithium ion battery. In fact, to preserve its lifespan, you should avoid allowing it to empty completely. Instead, recharge your battery even before you see the indicator or low battery light on your mod.
Another way to improve your battery life is to stay above 2.5 volts. If you drop below 2.0 V, the metal will become plated in the battery. This can cause short-circuiting or even bursting. Keep in mind this isn’t the “under load” voltage (i.e. that voltage which the battery will drop to during use) but the resting voltage when not in use.
Should your battery discharge below 2.0 V, immediately charge the battery at the very slowest rate allowed by your charger. After it reaches 3.0 V, you can then return to the normal rate of charge. Should your battery have been at 2.0 V for some time, there’s a good chance it has already been damaged. If you try to use or charge it back up, the result could be short-circuiting.
Make sure you have allowed the battery to cool down to room temperature after removing it from the mod before you try to charge it up. Trickle chargers are also unsuitable for use with this kind of battery – the continuous holding at a trickle charge voltage damages this kind of battery.
Every device that you use with a rechargeable Li-Ion IMR battery should have a 20A or higher amp limit. If you use another kind of battery, it could be dangerous.
Should your mod start giving you battery alerts earlier than it used to, if it fails to hit so hard or if the mod heats up during use, the time may have come to change the battery. When changing a vape device battery, make sure to dispose of the old one properly. Never just throw it in the trash!
DO'S AND DON'TS FOR BATTERY SAFETY - AN 'AT A GLANCE' GUIDE
- Use an appropriate static-proof carrying case for your batteries when storing or carrying them.
- Remove your battery from the charger as soon as it has fully recharged.
- Use the correct charger for your device.
- Charge your device on a hard, smooth and fireproof surface.
- Switch off the battery when you’re not using it.
- Clean the battery and its terminals if they’re dirty.
- Put your battery in a bag of rice for 48 hours if it gets wet.
- Orientate your batteries correctly when inserting them into your device.
- Make sure that all batteries in your device have a similar charge level and are matching.
- Inspect your battery regularly for any sign of damage.
- Check for counterfeits – some of the most popular batteries brands are often copied and fakes are in circulation which may be dangerous to use. Only buy from reputable suppliers for peace of mind.
- Store your battery with any metal objects
- Leave your battery charging unattended.
- Over-tighten the battery onto the atomizer.
- Use your battery if it is overheating.
- Use a damaged battery or a battery with a damaged wrap.
- Expose your battery to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
- Leave your battery exposed in your vehicle.
- Allow your battery to come into contact with liquids.
- Exceed the limits of your battery.
- Store old and new batteries together.
- Allow your batteries to make contact with each other.
WHAT ABOUT REBUILDABLE DEVICES?
If you’re using a rebuildable device, you’ll need to know about coil safety in order to avoid an accident. Rebuildables are known to be quite risky and therefore are definitely not for beginner vapers to use.
Only experienced and knowledgeable vapers who have taken the necessary time to learn about how to use electronic devices and multimeters should ever consider using a rebuildable.
Why is it so important to understand electronics before using a rebuildable device?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons:
- Rebuildable coils and wicks need to be carefully tested with a multimeter before use.
- Faulty coils and wicks will blow and damage the vaping device.
- New wick/coil units require testing first before being used on a basic strong mod with short-circuiting protection built in or, preferably, on a testing rig.
- No new wick/coil assembly must be used on a vaping device until proven to be safe.
SUB-OHM VAPING SAFETY
Sub-ohm resistance coils and tanks should be used only by an experienced user. There are some additional safety precautions which should be kept in mind if sub-ohm vaping and a sub-ohm tank can only work on a regulated or mechanical mod which is designed to fire sub ohm coils and atomizers.
As an example, if you’re using a 0.2 Ohm coil, you’ll need to use it on a mod capable of firing an atomizer of 0.2 Ohm. Also, you need to make sure that your device’s batteries are capable of handling sub ohm coils and atomizers.
When using regulated mods, you need to ensure they’re capable of handling the amps. If you use them improperly, the result can be damage or even injury. Under all circumstances, you must use the Ohms law calculator and check your amps to keep yourself safe at all times.
If you are using a sub-ohm resistance atomizer, you should only vape an e-liquid with 6mg or less of nicotine. This is because sub-ohm atomizers produce a much stronger throat hit when compared to standard or low resistance atomizers. If you use a higher nicotine level you’ll find your e-juice tastes harsh and burnt.
RESPONSIBLE VAPING - A TOP PRIORITY
Whether you are brand new to vaping or whether you’re an experienced vaper who is ready to move onto using a rebuildable, it’s absolutely vital to understand the equipment and device that you’re using and know the best way to care for it.
Vaping is usually a safe pastime, however when you fail to take responsibility for your own safety and don’t follow the appropriate precautions, you could end up not only damaging your device but also injuring yourself or other people.